Following the death of Gbadebo Richard, a 300-level University of Ibadan (UI) Student at the Oluyole factory, the management of Expand Global Industries Limited has suspended the production at its Oluyole Estate factory.
The undergraduate who was a casual staff in the factory was said to have slipped into the soap-making machine and died. Meanwhile, many human right activists have been calling on government to ensure that justice prevail over the death of the young guy.
It will be recalled that in October last year, thousands of human right activists trooped out to protest inhumane treatment meted on staff of a SUMAL Company in Oluyole, Ibadan particularly the casual staff.
It was also learnt that Casual workers in the company also joined the human right activists under the aegis of SPN, CDWR and others to demand an improvement in their slavery working condition.
Summal Food Company, located in Oluyole Estate, Ring Road, Ibadan, Oyo State, is a Lebanese owned company which produces biscuit, coffee and sweet gum among others. It is also involved in environmental and event decorations, digital photo and video coverage services. Summal has a number of high profile subsidiaries including Yale foods and Vital foods which produce digestive, Malted milk, Robot Gum among others.
Currently, over 15,000 youths, who are between the age of 18 and 23 years, are used as casual workers in the company. Every casual worker receives a meagre daily pay of N800. This is after working between 9 and 12 hours in a precarious job without avenue for break and company medical facilities even in case of any emergency. Every causal worker in the company compulsorily works from Monday to Sunday without any remuneration for overtime.
It was the accumulated mass anger and displeasure against this kind of slave working condition that triggered the October 2nd mass protest that paralysed both the production and administrative activities in the company for three days. This struggle which broke out in the early hour of the day was, at its commencement, directionless and uncoordinated. However this huge challenge was later overcome with the help of a quick and skilful intervention by members of the Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights, CDWR, and Socialist Party of Nigeria, SPN.